Wahoo Elemnt Bolt V2 review – Cycle Computers – GPS Computers

Wahoo’s second generation Elemnt Bolt is an excellent bike computer covering the key features most riders will need in a compact package.

It offers a color screen, smart navigation, USB-C charging, and longer battery life than the original. Wahoo Element Boltin what is otherwise ostensibly the same aerofoil package as its predecessor.

The aerodynamic profile of his cycle computer is unlikely to make the difference between winning and losing the group race at his local cafe, but it indicates Wahoo’s intent for the Bolt as a data-centric team.

This is a unit that balances the map and data needs of performance-conscious cyclists, and it largely succeeds, though there are better options for detailed navigation.

Wahoo Element Bolt V2 Setup

The Bolt is controlled with six buttons, there’s no touchscreen, but all setup and customization of the data screen is done via the Elemnt companion app.

Easy setup has always been one of the main advantages of Wahoo computers and that is still the case here. Turn on the computer, scan the QR code with your smartphone and voila, it all unfolds in a series of intuitive steps from there.

Customizing the data screens through the app is also very easy. Simply select the screens (eg trip data, navigation/mapping, Strava Live Segments) and the data fields you want to see, and it is instantly reflected on the computer.

The V2 Bolt features USB-C charging.
Steve Sayers / Our Media

If you want to add (or remove) any fields while driving, you need to take out your phone to make those changes. However, the simplicity of using Wahoo’s companion app outweighs endless scrolling through data options on the device itself.

Wahoo claims 15 hours of runtime and my tests suggest that’s about right, while USB-C charging also keeps things up to date.

Wahoo Element Bolt V2 Facts

There is all the data you are likely to need.
Steve Sayers / Our Media

In terms of data capabilities, the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt V2 has pretty much everything you’ll need.

There are no fewer than 20 categories to choose from when selecting data fields to populate a custom page on the device, from the basics like distance and climb to muscle oxygen metrics and 90 (yes, 90) data options for power.

It can also display your phone’s battery life, gear selection (assuming you’re using a electronic group) and tire pressure (if using a Quarq TireWiz). You get the idea: the data options are extensive.

The Bolt has a horizontal strip of LEDs on top of the computer and these can be used to display additional “information” while riding, either flashing after a wrong turn or displaying your relative effort versus heart rate or power .

You can also use color coding to show how hard you are working on the screen (within a data field). In that sense, loading preset workouts into Bolt is simple through Wahoo’s companion app.

There are the usual integrations with third-party apps: Strava, TrainingPeaks, and Komootfor example, to download maps and upload data, along with live tracking, call and text notifications (with the option to activate ‘do not disturb’), etc.

You can connect the Bolt to sensors (power meters, heart rate meters, etc.) through the app or the device itself. Everything works as it should.

Wahoo Element Bolt V2 Navigation

There’s no touchscreen, with six buttons controlling everything.
Steve Sayers / Our Media

The Bolt’s 2.2-inch color screen is a big step up from its predecessor.

Wahoo has used color relatively sparingly, but to good effect by enhancing clarity where it matters. That includes road designations (major roads are orange, minor roads are yellow, minor roads are gray, and bike lanes are blue) and the heart rate zone you’re in during threshold intervals.

The color screen is most useful when browsing, and if you’re thinking of upgrading from the first-gen computer, it’s an important step.

As with workouts, syncing pre-set routes with Bolt is simple through the companion app. I have used Komoot and Strava during testing.

Using the Wahoo companion app is preferable to scrolling through the data fields on the compact screen.
Steve Sayers / Our Media

Within the Wahoo app, you can also create a route by searching on a map, drilling down into your ride history, or retracing your current ride.

So far, so good, but the new Bolt’s usefulness as an on-the-go navigation aid, if your phone is tucked away in your pocket, is somewhat limited by the size of the screen.

The 2.2-inch screen has a large bezel, and while the screen is great for following preloaded routes, you’re better off with a larger, more mapping-focused computer if you want to navigate while driving, without relying on routes created in home or through the app.

For example, scrolling through the maps screen using Bolt’s buttons to manually find a ‘Take Me To…’ destination is a fairly cumbersome and time-consuming experience, even if it’s easy through the app.

As for the Bolt’s ‘smart navigation’, this is one of the new features of the V2 computer and it will redirect you if you go off course when following a route.

Take a wrong turn and the unit’s LEDs will flash, you’ll hear the telltale ‘beep’ and within seconds the Bolt will send you back on track.

Wahoo Element Bolt V2 Conclusion

The 2.2-inch color screen is an improvement over the V1 Bolt.
Steve Sayers / Our Media

All things considered, the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt balances the demands for travel data, navigation, and ease of use in a reasonably sized and stylish package.

However, there are better options with larger, more detailed screens, with an increase in price, for riders who want to hone in on mapping capabilities.

Leave a Comment